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YouTube Gold: DJ, Bronny And Jared, Oh My!

Three burgeoning talents with unique burdens

High School Basketball: HoopHall Class Tournament-Sunnyslope High School at Centennial High School
Dec 11, 2021; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Centennial High School forward Jared McCain dribbles against Sunnyslope High School at Footprint Center. 
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Here is some video of three of the more interesting high school players around: Bronny James, DJ Wagner and Jared McCain.

Wagner is likely to come down to a classic Kentucky-Louisville battle while McCain has committed to Duke and James is seen as a possible Duke target.

Of the three, Wagner has to deal with the legacy of being perhaps the first third-generation McDonald’s recruit - behind grandfather Milt and father DaJuan - and the subject of a very personal recruiting battle as DaJuan played for John Calipari at Memphis and Milt played at Louisville and recently returned to the basketball staff, although not as a coach.

McCain may have to separate himself in some ways from his TikTok persona. We don’t know that and we could be wrong, but at some point, and this is probably inevitable, if not necessarily from Duke - it could be from media or conceivably even TikTok users - people will wonder what he’s more interested in. It’s not fair, but you can sort of see that coming.

None of them have to deal with what young James has to though.

Being Bronny is probably better than being LeBron Jr. Stop and think about that for a minute: how many children of great athletes are great athletes themselves? The Wagners are exempt from this obviously but it didn’t happen for Michael Jordan’s sons. Didn’t happen for Kareem’s kids. Kobe was vastly better than father Joe, but that just kind of underscores the point. It’s very hard.

So whatever happens with Bronny - he’s widely seen as a guy likely to skip college - he’s going to have a tough time establishing his own identity. Expectations for him are going to be impossible to meet.